Monday, February 8, 2010

Spatial Law and Policy Update (February 8, 2010)

Those of you interested in the future of the Ordnance Survey - or other national mapping agencies - may be interested in reading this document. You will note that it requests comments on three proposals for the future of the OS and mapping data in the UK.

The Borings' lawsuit against Google continues - at least in part. This article does show how in a civil suit the extent of any damages sustained is often as important as being right or wrong.

I think that this article raises an interesting legal/policy issue. That is, if you regularly tweet your location to others, is it an invasion of your privacy if someone else tweets your location when you don't want them to?

Is poor and inaccurate data better than no data than all? Some police officers - and the citizens they protect - in Adelaide are probably asking this question.

I am very interested in learning more about this technology. In particular, I am interested in how accurate the monitors can be in determining the sources of methane, as this becomes much more important as, in the word's of the CEO of the company, "There's a big shift away from just scientific use for our technology to using it to meet regulatory requirements". Monitoring regulatory requirements should demand a much higher level of accuracy and timeliness.

Another example of the power of maps - this time in relation to the dispute over the border between Thailand and Cambodia.

I wonder if any companies collecting location data on customers are following efforts in the US by law enforcement to have a direct Web interface with Internet and email providers so as to expedite legal requests and responses (i.e. warrants, etc.)? If so, they may also consider taking a look at this study by the Department of Justice which highlights the growing use of such requests in connection with telephone records.

Much has been written about Apple's plan to ban location based advertising apps. However, as is often the case , I find Ed Parson's take to be the most insightful.

You may have wondered, as I have. whether a hacker could access your smart phone and track your location using the GPS in its device. According to this article, the answer is yes!

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